New warehouse plans approved for historic South Tyneside wax jacket maker Barbour

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Plans for new warehouse facilities at the home of iconic South Tyneside business Barbour have been given the green light.

The business, founded in 1894, is now based in Bede Industrial Estate and has been making and selling waxed jackets for more than 125 years.

Plans submitted to South Tyneside Council (STC) have proposed a storage warehouse, in Bedesway, to serve Barbour’s main warehousing and distribution operation.

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The scheme aims to tackle what a planning statement described as a “serious logistical problem with the site and buildings” – including “both the lack of storage space and the inability to get the clothing into and out of the site quickly enough”.

Barbour factory outletBarbour factory outlet
Barbour factory outlet
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Peter Cunningham, a council planning officer, told Monday’s (May 23) meeting of STC’s Planning Committee the warehouse extension would “modernise” facilities.

Although approval would lead to the loss of a large staff car park, this is expected to be offset by separate proposals to extend another Barbour staff car park nearby.

Under conditions attached to the scheme, this “compensatory car parking” must be completed before the warehouse development commences.

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Following discussion, the warehouse plans were unanimously approved by the panel.

Councillor Eileen Leask said: “Having seen the site, I think it’s actually quite ingenious what they’re doing and I wholeheartedly support it.”

Councillor Sandra Duncan added: “I think it’s a really good scheme and anything that brings more work and extra business into the town is to be applauded.”

The proposed warehouse is expected to be both energy efficient and sustainable, to help reduce the carbon footprint of the Barbour company operation.

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A report prepared for the Planning Committee noted that the warehouse, once complete, would result in 20 extra staff being employed on site.

The paper added: “This proposal would allow a significant and long-established major employer in the borough to further extend and consolidate their business operations on the Bede Industrial Estate site and would safeguard existing jobs whilst also creating new job opportunities.

“Overall, the principle of this further employment development in this predominantly industrial area is acceptable and very much welcomed and is in accord with relevant local and national planning policy.”

Under planning conditions, work on the new warehouse must commence on site within three years.